Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Joy in Simplicity

Coca Cola is celebrating the International Day of Happiness.To Coca-Cola, happiness is anything that brings a smile to your face! It's about adding a dose of refreshment, brightness & cheer to the lives of people who love it. Moreover, they asked us bloggers to write about things that make us happy everyday.

Happiness is not only in big purchases, cool gadgets and latest fashion; Happiness also and mostly comes from the small things in life. These small things are often ignored and under-appreciated, but without them our lives are incomplete. Here are a few things that I cherish the most and are a source of joy in my life. 

I start my day with running. I run for about an hour and when I return my mother usually keeps a glass of water already on the table. After pushing oneself for an hour, there is no greater joy than that glass of cold icy water. I can feel it go down my throat to my stomach. I feel the chill and the satisfaction that I get is unparalleled.

Being the voracious reader that I am, books are a great part of my life. Whether it is the metro, or at two in the night one can always find me with a book. The best part about reading a book is when you hold it in your hands for the first time, you can smell the aroma of never-been-touched-before pages and you can feel the stiff crease-less spine. That is something one never gets from eBooks. These days, due to being on a budget, I am mostly dependent on eBooks but whenever I can I buy a real book. I love the feeling of opening it for the first time. I am inseparable from it till I finish reading it. I carry it with me all the time everywhere.

Friends are often a source of pure joy. Hanging out with them is a happy time of my day. We don't go to fancy malls or other such cool and expensive places. We hang out at our college. We can be spotted as the group which laughs at anything and everything. One of my friends is the group's clown. He can turn any situation into a laughter-fest. So whenever anyone is upset or a little down, he is called upon.

Getting a seat in Delhi metro during peak time can prove to be more challenging than clearing the toughest of entrance exams. So whenever I get this lucky to be bestowed with a seat, I make it a point to thank the stars. And not only me, anyone for that matter cannot help but smile whenever this rare phenomenon is experienced.

My mother's cooking. My mother is the best cook. She can cook a wide range of food from Chinese to Italian, but what I like the best is the Rajma chawal she makes. I like Rajma with a lot of gravy and she makes it just like I love. So when I return from college, and the aroma of the Rajma hits my nose from two stories down, a sort of rush goes through my body. I feel better just by the smell. It is my favorite food and I can eat it any time of any day.

Hence, above are the things that bring great joy to me. They are simple and most are inexpensive yet priceless. I am grateful for I get to experience them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Look Up, Rise Up started the initiative LOOK UP STORIES. IN this we had to tell about stories which make us look up in life. I was reminded of the following story.

One day I was in a sombre state pondering over the "what ifs".
What if I had studied that one lesson for my entrance exams?
 What if my rank would have been better?
What if I had admission in a better college?
What if I had joined a better coaching?
What if .....

It was the first semester of my college and I was really sad. I wanted a better college but my score was low, hence had to settle with a not-so-great college. Seeing my sad expressions, one of my classmates asked me why was I like that. I told him my sad little story. He listened patiently. Then he told me about one of our classmates. His name was Arun. Arun lived in a small town in Jharkhand. His father was not rich but still he took a loan for Arun's studies. Arun was sent to Ranchi to prepare for entrance examinations as well as to complete his 12th. He stayed in a small room which he shared with three other boys. He studied on scholarship in a coaching center where teachers provided him with books. So went two years of hard work and studies. When results came, He secured 91% in 12th. And got a rank of 1095 in the entrance exam. As every student knows one has to register for counseling to get admission in a college. But as fate would have it Arun's grandmother passed away. Arun went to his native village to attend his grandmother's funeral. That village was a very small village with limited access to electricity and internet. At that time there were no dongles or such technology. Even if they were available, they hadn't reached that part of the country. Registration time came and went and Arun couldn't register. All of his hard work was now down the drain. All he could do now was just to wait for the spot round. In the spot round one has to register oneself again for the process. Arun did that and got a seat in our third tier college.

So here was a boy who did all the hard work, got a rank which would have gotten him any stream in any college, but due to sheer bad luck ended up in my college. Yet he was smiling, talking with everyone and encouraging others who were sitting like me. His story shook me and pulled me out of my melancholy state. I gained a whole different perspective on life. I realized that here is a boy who got everything yet nothing and he is still happy and jolly everyday and here I am who does nothing but whine about the unfairness of life. Life had been cruel to him and he still is able to live with it then why can't I.

I will remember this story forever. This is one story which always help me to look up and rise up from my failures. It keeps me motivated to let the past be the past.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Will Change

For teenagers, their social status is mostly gauged on factors such as clothes they wear, the phone they carry, and their social media presence. Social media in India began with yahoo messenger and orkut. But soon Facebook took over and now that space is shared by twitter, instagram, snapchat etc.

When I was in 9th, Facebook was reaching its peak. All the kids had Facebook accounts but it was before the time when your parents, uncles and aunts also hopped on and started sending you candy crush requests. There was no candy crush. Farmville ruled the rooste. You planned your online activity around the maturing of your grapes, wheat and corn. There as no side bar and no timeline. The chat sucked big time.

After 10th, during the vacations I got really addicted to Facebook. I spent hours just on farmville. My farm was really thriving. I was so hooked that I didn't even realize my unit tests started the next day. Needless to say, I scored bad, like really bad. My parents were furious and so were my teachers. But I didn't budge. I also started chatting with people I never talked to otherwise in school. Time passed and soon January began. My academic performance was bad and my company I  was worse. My parents were very worried but I was least bothered.

One fine day I met my old teacher. He was my idol and I looked up to him. He saw me hanging out with this creature whom I despised earlier but became friends through Facebook. He didn't say anything. He eyed him top to bottom and then looked at me. He asked my grades and the look in his eyes changed from disappointment to sad. That look shook me to my core. I couldn't sleep. The entire year played in my mind and I realized how low I had fallen. The next morning I went to my parents and apologized. They forgave me and I'll always be grateful to them. Then I deleted my accounts from Facebook and orkut permanently. My so called new friends laughed at first and then started ignoring me. I will be grateful to them as well. I sought my old friends. They took some time but they forgave me as well.

So I put my life together. I faced a lot of rebuke from the "cool kids" but I realized it didn't matter. I consider myself fortunate that I took that step at the right time than making it a life spoiling regret. I am also in lifelong debt of my teacher whose one look made me look in the mirror.
This is for initiative Start a new Life.

Together Always recently asked to narrate the most memorable day of one's life and the first thought that came to me was of the day I spent with my best friend at my home.

It was the day after our 12th board results were announced. She, being a top scorer all her life, did amazingly well. She got 95% marks. I on the other hand did not do well. She and I have been best friends since nursery. We spend most of our time together. Summer vacations were typically spent in my backyard cycling or playing. We were sisters, soul sisters. We don’t have much in common as far as choices are concerned. She likes sunshine, pink, yellow, jewellery and dancing. I, on the other hand like black, cloudy skies and Gothic stuff. However, we are like yin yang. We balance each other and make one complete unit. We have always supported each other through life’s ups and downs.  

When our results were announced, she was the one who saw our results. I was ecstatic when I heard her result. I was literally jumping. Then when she saw my result we were both quiet. It wasn't that bad but it was lower than we expected. She came to my house the next day. The moment she saw me she burst into tears. I ended up consoling her. That was when I realized that here is a person who is crying for me despite scoring so well herself. It gave me a whole new perspective on life. I gave me hope that I have this strong support system which is unavailable to many others. It gave me the motivation I needed at that time. We spent the entire day watching TV at my house. We didn’t say much but we knew that we were there for each other. We saw two movies. Ate whatever we could. We drank a full two liter bottle of cola. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated her success and mourned my loss, all together.

Pencil Sketch by me.
That day was one of the defining points in our friendship. It strengthened our bond. We knew that no matter what we will be there for each other. We knew that we had different paths in front of us from there. We knew our careers would pull us in different directions but we also knew that at heart we will always be connected.

Today, when I look back at that day I realize that she didn’t have to be sad for me. She did great for herself and could have gone celebrating her success with some other friends or family. But she didn’t. She chose to spend the day with me watching silly movies and drinking cola. She could have ignored me but she didn’t and I will always be in her debt for that. I know and I knew then as well, that I am very fortunate to have a friend like her.
 #Together is an initiative by They are the best source for all housing related information.